Get back to tech for healthcare

It has been 100 days since the first case of COVID-19 was reported. Three months ago, I still traveled around South East Asia and North America effortlessly for networking.

Healthcare startup community is small. It is surprising to learn how much attention it got in NeuRIPS, the largest conference in Artificial Intelligence last year.

Grandma's town

In January 2020, somehow the first shocking news of the outbreak in Wuhan could reach my grandma’s house. It was about an entire region with 65M people locked down in the Lunar New Year Holidays. It could never ever happen in my acknowledgement about Asia culture and society in the past 30 years.

In February 2020, I got a flu-like illness in three weeks right after traveling by air. There is little information about symptoms of COVID-19 - new disease with very little scientific evidence. At that moment, Vietnam was among the first countries in the world with COVID-19 with 16 cases. Schools shut down. All music and festivals to celebrate Spring were canceled. Kids stay at home too long and parents moan on social media. A war of face masks. I spammed friends’ social media channels, especially in San Francisco.

In March 2020, Italy became the first country to have a national lockdown. Europe became an epicenter, then several countries in the West. I officially launched this site for 10 reasons. The first goal was to reduce friction in communication about COVID-19, raising awareness for as many people as possible, especially why people should stay at home, practice physical distancing, how to read numbers and science, infodemic and some pieces of Vietnam and the world perspective.

John Hopkins University

In April 2020, there are 1.5M people infected around the world. 183 out of 196 countries have people infected. COVID-19 became more politicized by the media. It appears to me more like a crisis of communication and information.

Fairly speaking, Coronavirus in a pandemic is invisible similar to greenhouse emission in Climate Change. We can’t see it. We can’t measure it by ourselves. To understand, it requires experiences, broad knowledge and domain expertise in science to interpret a situation. People don’t understand, delay actions. Different from cancer, a repository disease conquers the earth in a few weeks. Fast forward, all the reports I read from the insurance 6 months ago suddenly turned into reality with a trillion bills.

Since World War II, this is the first time humans face such a situation. But an enemy is within everybody which we have to fight and fight hard to win. Foremost, we need a spirit of collaboration to defeat the virus.

This should be a time to save lives, not blame each other. This should be time for innovation in technology to restructure the economy.

Each individual could play an important role in breaking the transmission chain and find a novel way to get our normal lives back.

Personally, I think it is the right time to come up with ideas to solve problems. So, let’s back to last December. I will write more about it. So, tune in!

PS: My remote accelerator will host an online hackathon with $5K in cash + $150K credits (11-12/4 PST) Join me if you are interested.


Tagged #note, #update.